Dear Friend and Reader:
It’s political season in the U.S. of A. Unlike most countries, where they get in and out of the elections, here in the States we have an endless phase of quarter finals, semi-finals, demi-finals, playoffs, and finally, the final finals.. The presidential race goes on for two years, with many hundreds of millions of dollars changing hands.
I’ve been watching both of the primary races develop, with genuine fascination. There are many elements that, if not new, are legitimately interesting.
That Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders came out on top of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday is worth comment; and last night, during the recording of Planet Waves FM, I figured out how it shows up in the astrology.
Though I cannot stomach Donald Trump (it must be his particular shade of orange), I understand the anger and frustration that’s driving his candidacy. People are pissed off. Rage is a crackling, burning undercurrent of American life. That explains the guns, the road rage, the misogyny, the racism and the Tea Party.
On the Republican side, Trump is running against a field of, well, pallid, unoriginal liars. I can’t believe anyone takes any of them seriously, so on one level it makes sense that Trump is appealing to the most people. I do get the chills every time I hear or read “Let’s Make America Great Again” — for fluorescent-tinted alleged billionaires like him.
On the Democratic side, it seems like Hillary Clinton is getting the surprise of her life; after all, it was supposed to be her turn. The nomination was supposed to be a coronation. But it seems like people are not buying her whole shtick. For one thing, her voice is as grating as Trump’s hue (well, and his voice — they should do a duet for the Difficult Listening Hour).
Hillary Clinton has a trust issue, and she deserves to. She seems totally unhinged from the ability to tell when she’s lying.
While the outcome of the nomination process is obviously still uncertain — we have 48 states left to go, and weird nominating rules (all those super-delegates) — there is a clear polarization along the axis of Trump and Sanders. These are two men who could not be more different, or espouse more different philosophies of politics.
American politics has long been polarized. North versus South, rich versus poor, urban versus rural — we seem to live in two countries rather than 50 states. In one of those countries, people appreciate the freedom and opportunity they have. In the other, there’s no opportunity block someone’s fun that’s too trivial to resist.
Most presidential elections are decided by one or two percentage points of the popular vote. But in our age of Democrats acting like Republicans and Republicans acting like an alien species, it’s difficult to sort things out. I say jokingly that I voted for Obama because I thought he would be a good Republican president — and he’s been just that.
However, the current scenario, with a self-described socialist leading one party while a self-avowed self-serving, self-alleged billionaire capitalist leads the other party, sure is an interesting version of polarity. In a sense it shows you how divided things really are.
There are many unexpected factors, such as younger women not supporting Hillary, and many young people (including women) gravitating to Sanders. We haven’t seen young folk gravitate toward an old guy since Buckminster Fuller was the hottest ticket in town.
As a student of therapy and psychology, I have long considered the presidential election to be about choosing a daddy figure. Now we have a woman running; but given that there is not much discernible maternal energy coming from Hillary, she too is in the running for big daddy.
The daddy issue is the problem with American politics. It’s a competition for who we want to answer our need for authority, protection, money, shelter and justice. American politics is all about Father Knows Best, which has been converted into a game show — or perhaps a reality show.
I am not sure when some plurality of people will take the step beyond expecting daddy to fix everything. Rather, politics seems to be a question of, who is the daddy that will save us from this mess? So as much as the election is a political process, I also consider it a kind of real-time psychology test.
When I listen to Trump speak, I frequently hear the word, and the feeling tone, of disgust (particularly at Mexicans, Muslims, women and reporters, who are all ‘bad people’ in his mind). Disgust is the deep mystical yearning of conservatism. I covered this briefly several hundred editions of Planet Waves ago, under the general heading of moral psychology.
One premise of moral psychology is that political values are predictable by many concepts seemingly unrelated to politics, including disgust. If you’re curious about this, you can read about, and take, a diversity of moral psychology tests at this link.
Trump was the guy who at a campaign rally was ordering his goons to throw people out in the cold and to “take away their coat” one cold night in Vermont. (By that, he meant to say steal their coat.) He threatens and bullies as a way of life. He gets off on firing people. Women, to him, are disgusting and bleed from their eyes. And a lot of people get off on him.
When I listen to Sanders speak, I hear someone who demonstrates actual empathy. Whatever you may think of his plan to make sure that everyone gets an education, and that everyone can go to the doctor, we could call that empathetic.
And people are responding. But they are responding to more than his ideas — they are responding to someone who for all appearances is close to his humanity and his real values.
Finally, there is a discernible difference between two leading candidates. Yes, Gore was definitely different from Dubya, though not with this kind of contrast. Perhaps that’s because Gore was holding back emotionally.
Neither Trump nor Sanders are holding back. And as a result we can see some actual differentiation. Both are outsider candidates, making their respective political parties nervous. That’s because they are exposing something closer to the core than ordinary politics as usual.
I was pondering the Aquarius New Moon chart from Monday, wondering where we might see that distinction show up. Last night — practically mid-sentence, describing the chart on Planet Waves FM — it occurred to me.
Saturn in Sagittarius is conjunct something called The Great Attractor (located hundreds of millions of light years away). I’ve mentioned this point many times, though it’s difficult to describe. It’s definitely what the name implies — the Milky Way is part of a massive group of galaxies being drawn in the direction of mid-Sagittarius. The Great Attractor is a node, where many galaxy clusters converge.
Just how massive our cluster is has emerged in recent years; you can read about it here, and don’t miss the fantastic four-minute video about halfway down the page. It’s really quite eye-opening, and the first cohesive description of how galaxies are organized that I’ve ever seen.
Now, astrologically, the Great Attractor has one main theme: polarization. It’s like this psychological magnet that both attracts and repels. When prominent in a natal chart, it can represent someone who people have inexplicably strong feelings about, whether they’re love or hate. Often the response seems to be automatic — people just have this instinctual push in one direction or the other.
It’s often helpful for people who have this point emphasized in their chart to hear that to hear that this reaction is a known, typical effect of the Great Attractor.
I’ve commented many times about how the Great Attractor and the relatively nearby core of our own galaxy are both in Sagittarius. To me this really ramps up the cosmic themes of this sign. And now Saturn is right there — conjunct the Great Attractor as we speak. It will be hanging around that point all year, and will be just one degree away on Election Day — a close alignment.
Saturn represents many expressions of form and structure, but nothing says parental quite like this planet. Only now it’s parental in the style of the God-complex that can come with strong Sagittarian placements.
So in a sense, this is an election about who we will choose as our representation of father-God. Will it be the guy who throws people out into the cold without their coat, will it be the guy who wants everyone to get an education, or will it be our mother who is in bed with Goldman Sachs, and who favors the death penalty?
Notably, on Election Day, Venus is conjunct the core of our own galaxy, and also conjunct a centaur called Pholus. This is an election that is describing broad, potent cosmic forces at work. Seen one way, it’s not an election at all; it’s a kind of spiritual initiation.